The former head of one of the country’s largest pension funds is being tapped to help build the new federal infrastructure bank.

The Liberals are naming Jim Leech as a special adviser to help design the proposed arm’s-length lending machine that could leverage billions in public money to turn it into new highways, bridges and transit projects.

The Liberals plan to infuse the bank with $35 billion in funding to financially backstop projects. The details of how it will work to be outlined in this year’s federal budget.

Read: Budget 2016: Liberals to ‘engage public pension plans’ as part of infrastructure boost

The government says Leech will guide the bank’s implementation team and help recruit board members.

The former head of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has experience investing pension money in profit-generating infrastructure projects.

The Liberals hope that large pension funds like the Teachers’ plan will invest in the bank, which will use federal funds to attract private-sector dollars for major projects and possibly generate $4 to $5 in private funding for every $1 of federal money.

Read: Canada’s infrastructure needs a facelift and pension funds want in

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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